College football is entering week 3. There are always things to watch every week of the season. Here are 5 things to watch in college football week 3.
1. How Much Will Anthony Richardson Play?
Coming into the season, Emory Jones was expected to take over the Florida quarterback position and continue producing, much like Kyle Trask did in 2020. Things haven’t played out that way, as he has been inconsistent. Florida has eased Anthony Richardson into things as a redshirt freshman, but he has outplayed Jones so far this season. With 192 passing yards, 275 rushing yards and four total touchdowns in just two weeks of play as a substitute for Jones.
Florida plays Florida this week and will need to produce a lot of offense to win. The Crimson Tide have averaged 49 points per game so far this season. It won’t be easy to move the ball on their very talented defense either. Florida’s best chance to move the ball and score points looks like it is Richardson. If Florida plays Jones too much, it may limit how well the offense does.
2. A White Out in Happy Valley
One of the more intriguing nonconference games on the schedule this season is Auburn traveling to Happy Valley to take on Penn State. Auburn has looked good so far in the Bryan Harsin era, going 2-0, albeit against subpar competition. In wins against Akron and Alabama State, the Tigers have put up 61 points per game and have allowed 10 total points. Starting quarterback Bo Nix has looked better than in past years with 383 passing yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions on 75 percent completion. If he can continue this play, Auburn could finish much higher than expected this season.
Penn State had a miserable 2020 season, finishing 4-5 on the season. Their five-game win streak to end last season has extended into the 2021 season, as they are now up to seven straight wins. So far this season, they have had a big win over Wisconsin and have also defeated Ball State easily. Their defense has allowed just 23 points this season and their offense produced some big plays against Wisconsin, even if they had trouble moving the ball consistently. Going up against Auburn will be a good test for the Penn State offense. In a game of teams who disappointed last season, it will help see how good they are this season.
3. Cincinnati’s First Test
Last season, Cincinnati went undefeated through their conference championship but weren’t invited to the College Football Playoff. Their schedule last season was criticized. This season though, they have a few tough nonconference games. They’ll travel to Indiana this week and will play at Notre Dame early in October. While neither of those teams look as good as they were expected to at the start of the season, it will be a good test for the Bearcats.
The Bearcats will have to limit Michael Penix Jr. who can beat teams with his arm and his legs if he takes care of the ball. Cincinnati has a tough defense that has only allowed 21 points this season. They also have NFL-level talent on that side of the ball in Ahmad Gardner and Myjai Sanders. Against what was a solid Indiana defense last season, Desmond Ridder will have to show improved accuracy. If he can do that, the Bearcats can pick up a nice win on the road. A win in this game may put them on a path to the College Football Playoff.
4. Boise State Hosting Oklahoma State
In their opener, Boise State dropped a game to UCF. They settled back in for week 2 and defeated UTEP 54-13. The Broncos have enough talent to win the Mountain West. Hank Bachmeier is an experienced quarterback and he has good weapons in running back George Holani and wide receiver Khalil Shakir. The defense has allowed 24.5 points per game, but could improve as the season goes on. They’ll be put to the test this week when they host Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State is 2-0 on the season, but their wins have been underwhelming. They beat Missouri State, an FCS team, 23-16. The Cowboys followed that up with a 28-23 win over Tulsa. Spencer Sanders, their starting quarterback, was only able to play in the Tulsa game, but it appears their issues are bigger than that. Against teams that shouldn’t have put up too much of a fight, Oklahoma State is only averaging 244 yards through the air and 97 yards on the ground. Boise State is favored to win the game, so Oklahoma State will need to step things up to win on the blue turf.
5. BYU’s Third Straight Pac-12 Game
BYU is currently independent, although they are moving to the Big 12 in 2023. This allows them to schedule whoever they want. To start the season, they defeated Arizona 24-16. They followed that performance up with a win over their rival Utah, 26-17. Many thought it would be tough dealing with the loss of Zach Wilson to the NFL, but the Cougars have won two games against Pac-12 teams and have another one coming against Arizona State.
The Sun Devils are a top 25 team after going 2-0. They haven’t played anyone great yet, but they have run the ball well and only allowed 12 points per game. With a star quarterback in Jayden Daniels, BYU will need to get pressure. They’ll also need their own quarterback Jaren Hall to use his dual-threat abilities to keep the Sun Devils’ defense honest.
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